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The Best Way to Save Your Pumpkins from Squirrels - The Great Pumpkin

Posted On: Oct 11, 2018   |   Posted By: The Kitchn

Carved or uncarved, pumpkins look great on the front porch or doorstep come October. But the gourds are, technically, food. So it's no surprise they attract critters like squirrels! And not everyone's available to sit on the stoop and shoo them away all day. Fortunately, there is an easy and cheap way to deter them - one that's probably already in your kitchen.
It turns out, squirrels have an aversion to capsaicin, the oil that makes hot peppers taste hot. "There is some research to back this claim up," says Chelle Hartzer, Technical Services Manager at Orkin. "High doses of capsaicin irritates the skin and the mucous membranes - it's the "hot" in hot peppers that gives you the burn after eating them."
Squirrels won't eat foods that have capsaicin in them, and will avoid eating foods that have been treated with capsaicin. While you can buy squirrel repellent sprays at retail, there are a few ways to get capsaicin onto your pumpkins that are right in your kitchen.

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